Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary year, Pokémon is one of the best xbox game franchises on the planet. With around 380 million games sold, it is constantly outdo both Call Of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. And therefore was before Pokémon GO. The summer’s new wave of pokéfever has elevated the pocket monsters’ pop culture credentials higher than ever, and this new mainline 3DS sequel is poised to take full advantage of the improved attention. So it’s an excellent job it’s the most effective Pokémon game ever.
For people who have only ever played Pokémon GO, the pokemon games fun is probably not quite everything you imagined. Even though they were originally aimed limited to kids they’re vastly more difficult compared to app’s simplistic touchscreen gameplay. The fundamental idea is still to trap ‘em all, however the mainline Pokémon titles are essentially open-ended role-playing games. Think a household-friendly version of Skyrim, but with turn-based combat featuring an army of friendly monsters for your methods of defence.
Sun and Moon can be bought separately, but they’re basically the same game and you’re not expected to buy both. Together they can be basically Pokémon 7, using the minor differences between your two releases – primarily several unique pokémon in each – merely intended to encourage trading between players. Capturing your pokémon is simply the beginning you can see, as you train and evolve your critters to fight with the game’s story and ultimately other human players.
Each pokémon you capture has a elemental type (anything from grass to ghost) and might learn four moves at a time to work with in battle. These have the identical form of alignments and frequently various unwanted effects, like paralysing an enemy or lowering their accuracy. This results in a highly complex web of vulnerabilities, defences, and bonuses, where even pokémon that are several experience levels under their opponent are able if they have the right abilities.
Matching attacks to the correct clicker games, and breeding and training ever more useful creatures, quickly becomes an obsession. Especially when you realise there are several layers of complexity beneath the basic stats of each creature, should you choose to go down that particular rabbit hole. That may be entirely up to you though, and in case you don’t wish to explore the intricacies of Effort Values, Natures, and IV training then you’ll never have any idea they exist (except we merely mentioned).
Even in the Game Boy days Pokémon was always an appropriate open world game, allowing you to go wherever you would like and placed away from the main story for as long as you want. There have invariably been a few story barriers occasionally, just as there is in Grand Theft Auto and anything else, but Sun and Moon are filled up with them, and feel a lot more restrictive than normal for the first a few hours. Which contains the possibility being frustrating, because like all Pokémon games the tale is essentially inconsequential and extremely not the focus by any means.
But although we worried that the achievements Pokémon GO might suggest that Sun and Moon could be dumbed down and simplified for any wider audience that’s untrue. The restrictions at the beginning might upset people who would like to run off straight away but they’re a smart enough precaution so that the game can be as accessible as you possibly can.
During battles the game also now indicates which moves are most beneficial, after you’ve battled that same sort of pokémon once, but even as veterans of the series we found this useful. Indeed, this game does its best to never hide any information throughout a fight, and that is only able to be viewed as a a valuable thing.
There are notable changes to the structure from the game, with traditional gym battles being ditched in favour of ‘island trials’. Sun and Moon are set on a group islands inspired by Hawaii, as well as the idea is to travel across them and carry out all of the head kahunas along with their captains. It’s still not that different to the idea of gyms, but it does allow for more variety than just fighting the right path through a brand of higher level pokémon, as you collect cooking ingredients or help with science experiments (while battling pokémon, naturally).
Also gone for that game are HMs, which means you don’t must teach a pokémon a move like Cut or Fly in order to use them from the game world. Instead you bring in specialised pokémon that you can ride on the rear of, so that you no longer must fill your party with otherwise useless pokémon that you’re just keeping around for their special abilities.
Surprisingly, the mega evolutions from Pokémon X and Y are also taken from the primary game, and though it is achievable to make use of them eventually they’re replaced in importance by Z-Powers. When you collect the appropriate elemental crystal by beating a captain, these may get to the pokémon to enable them to perform one super powerful attack per battle – the most elaborate that appear to be Final Fantasy style summonses.
As it ever was there are actually many new pokémon to find, with many impressively weird ones which have very distinctive powers. As opposed to just as a different variety of stats there’s critters like the fish Wishiwashi that can school together in a giant whale-like form, or maybe the bird Oricorio which changes form based on which nectar it’s been sipping. However the game also does very well in mixing the latest pokémon with the old. Especially with the brand new regional variations of old fashioned creatures, which in turn have got a new look, type, or abilities.
Actually, this game does well over-all in reflecting the most effective ideas of your series to date and building on them, for example the Nintendogs style pampering of the pokémon after a battle. In the beginning this seems a pointless novelty, but not only can it remove status ailments after having a battle however it improves your relations using the pokémon to the stage where they’ll start avoiding attacks more or hanging to their last pip of health in battles.
But even these are merely the most notable level changes therefore we haven’t got the place to correctly focus on Poké Pelago (a set of single screen islands where one can send idle pokémon to teach up or hunt for treasure), Festival Plaza (the primary online interface where you can battle and trade with other individuals), the enjoyment new Battle Royal multiplayer mode (essentially a four-player Pokémon deathmatch), the Poké Finder photography mini-game, or even the large range of new items which can be held and used by the pokémon themselves.
With regards to flaws there are actually few surprises, with our biggest issue being the absence of artificial intelligence when fighting ordinary enemies. The moves are clearly being chosen at random and that can spoil the jubilation of your difficult win when you know it was actually only because the stupid computer opponent missed a clear opportunity. Anything beyond that may be just nitpicking, but it’s unfortunate that to keep the frame rate the only section of the game that’s in 3D is flappy bird game, although the graphics are really good that’s very easy to forgive.
Even script is better than usual, and although it’s never anywhere near as funny as Nintendo games for example Paper Mario, there are far more when compared to a few good lines within in order to avoid dextpky49 saccharine storyline from becoming an excessive amount of to bear. We particularly enjoyed the amusingly pathetic wannabe gangsters from main bad guy group Team Skull.
Any qualms regarding the initial linearity can also be quickly forgotten as soon as you realise exactly how expansive the end game is. For most players, a Pokémon game doesn’t even begin properly until you’ve spent the dozen roughly hours necessary to complete the storyline, after which you may dedicate yourself to training and breeding, along with pursuing the newest Ultra Beast creatures and taking up the highest level computer opponents.
We’re seeking to avoid spoiling way too many secrets here, because Sun and Moon are absolutely bursting with them, and purely when it comes to good value the games are away from the scale. It’s rare a sequel in the long-running series can please both veterans and newcomers in equal measure, but Sun and Moon reach that goal balance almost perfectly. The result is not only the best Pokémon game ever, but one of the better online games ever made.